Peanut Oil ComponentsThere are three major components of peanut oil – triglycerides of oleic, linoleic, and palmitic acids. A triglyceride is the combining of three fatty acid molecules with one molecule of glycerin. Approximate percentages are:
48% Monounsaturated [Oleic Acid]
34% Polyunsaturated [Linoleic Acid]
18% Saturated [Palmitic Acid]
Olive Oil ComponentsThe chemistry of olive oil isn’t all that different from peanut oil. It contains oleic acid and linoleic acid, though in different percentages, along with traces of similar acids. The saturated palmitic acid is joined by a small amount of stearic acid. Approximate percentages are:
71% Monounsaturated [Oleic Acid + Palmitoleic Acid]
15% Polyunsaturated [Linoleic Acid + α-Linoleic Acid]
14% Saturated [Palmitic Acid + Stearic Acid]
Peanut Oil and Olive OilAs can be seen from the data above, the primary difference between peanut oil and olive oil are the relative percentages of monounsaturated fatty acids and the relative percentages of polyunsaturated fatty acids. At one time, omega-6 fatty acids such as linoleic, were considered bad for artery health (α-linoleic acid is an omega-3 acid). Such concerns, it is now suggested, can be put aside.
Of greater importance today might be the optimal temperature (below the smoke point) at which each oil is best used. Peanut oil can be used at a much higher fry temperature.
Note: You might also enjoy What is Canola Oil? Does It Pose a Health Risk?
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